Proper Politesse – Etiquette Tips by Sherry Gordon-Harris ‘Please Respect My Name’

Greetings, Traveler Weekly Readers!

I’m Sherry Gordon-Harris, Certified Etiquette Consultant, owner and instructor of Royal Purpose School of Etiquette. Our purpose is to assist with the Total Refinement of You, including children and adults, by offering classes and workshops on Etiquette and proper Manners.

As we learned in the previous articles, Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Manners are a person’s outward bearing or way of behaving toward others. It’s a way in which a thing is done or happens. In general, Etiquette is simply respecting others and not causing an offense to others.

March is Women’s History Month. For many women, it represents a time to reflect and celebrate the contributions that women have played in forging gender equality. It is also a time to recognize the many achievements women have made over the course of history.

There are appropriate titles or expressions to address or refer to a young girl or woman. Courteous titles or address terms, known as honorifics, are used before names in salutations. These words or expressions are a manner of address, which conveys esteem or respect. This applies to verbal greetings or salutations when introducing a young girl or woman in person or when writing a letter.

Traditionally, the most common honorifics for young girls or women are Miss, Mrs., or Ms. So, the question becomes, “When should you use Miss, Mrs. or Ms.?” Girls under age 18 or women who have never been married should be addressed as Miss. Married women should be addressed as Mrs. The term Ms. can be used for those women who are divorced, separated, or widowed. When unsure of their status or their preference, the safest option is to use Ms. Feminists first began promoting the use of Ms. for women as the female counterpart to Mr. back in the 1950’s, and it gained steam in the 1970’s.

To avoid potentially embarrassing assumptions about their preference or their gender you can simply ask them how they would like to be addressed if you don’t already know. Best Etiquette practice is to ask in advance in private if you anticipate a public introduction. If there is no allowance of advance time for this, you can opt to just skip titles altogether and just simply use a person’s name.

Remember, Etiquette is all about respecting others and not causing offence to the best of your ability and knowledge. Hopefully, these articles are helping you to learn more Proper Politesse.

Once again it has been my pleasure sharing this Etiquette tip with the Traveler Weekly Readers. There’s more to come. Well wishes to you and your family. I encourage everyone to, “Live your life with Purpose in a Royal Manner”.

If you, your family, or group want to learn Etiquette for the first time or just want to brush up on your skills, consider enrolling in a scheduled class or book a private class with Royal Purpose School of Etiquette LLC. We can help with the Total Refinement of You.

Contact Sherry Gordon-Harris at (309) 585-6145 or e-mail or visit

Thank you.